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Show choir: Riverside company captured top honors at Iowa competition

Riverside Company, the top Hastings High School show choir, won top honors at the annual Waukee, Iowa, invitational, called Star Struck. A total of 18 choirs competed at the meet, including nine in Hastings' class.

In addition, the team received caption awards for best vocals and best choreography. That the team was able to pull all that off on Saturday amazed director Lin Warren.

"We had quite a few kids gone for the weekend, for a variety of reasons," Warren said. "Some of the kids, on the day of the competition, were learning new choreography and new spots. It's a real testament to their work ethic, their focus and their dedication. It was very impressive."

One of the unique aspects to the show this year by Riverside Company is the focus the group has put on its ballad. The group belts out a new arrangement for Born Free/Climb Every Mountain, and at the competition in Waukee, they really hit their mark.

"In finals, it was a stunning moment, to the point that the crowd stood up, and the judges stood up in the middle of the show," Warren said. "It was so beautiful and so powerful. It was an amazing, stunning moment. Everyone was raving about it."

The fact that the group's vocals stick out is no accident.

"This group is trained so classically," Warren said. "We wanted to showcase that sound. It really worked. It was really exciting this weekend. It was just what the group needed.

"We've had a lot of things go against us this year. I'm so proud of this group. I'm always inspired by them. Nothing gets them down. They just go for it."